Heaven On Earth
by Marilyn Pappano, contemporary (2002)
Dell, $6.50, ISBN 0-440-23714-9

Melina Dimitris is a private investigator who met Sebastian Knight some time ago in a bar, they have a hot four-night-stand, and he dumps her just like that. Now, if I go into a bar, meet a hot stud, and do the kazoo with him, I don't think I will be too heartbroken if we go our separate ways soon after. I mean, jeez, we met at a bar, of all things, and I bet the bar where those two met didn't have LONG TERM THING WEEK banners posted all over the place.

Anyway, Melina is still hurt about that. She thinks about him all the time, muttering that all men are bitches or something close to that. So when some kids run away to discover some Yo, What Happened To My Mommy nonsense, including Sebastian's long-suffering daughter, Sebastian has to hire Melina to find them, and of course, sparks fly again, blah blah blah, and oh, Marilyn Pappano wants to tell everybody that yes, all women are bitches too, the heroine and all the women in the perfect small town of Bethlehem who have their romance stories excepted of course.

Like the kids who ran away? Two of them have a drug addict skank/bitch/ho/slut/*insert your favorite nasty word for woman here* mother. Sebastian's jackass behavior is because he has a nasty bitch mother. Everything wrong with the world has its roots in Evil Women. Thank you, Eve, for eating that bloody apple instead of stuffing it up where the sun never shines on Adam.

Mind you, for a while I'm okay with this book. So what if this author has written some decent books before she started writing for Bantam/Dell. So what if she now churns out thought-free blame-the-bitches small town romance - maybe her writing for Silhouette/Harlequin has gotten to her somehow. After all, Heaven On Earth is just like an extended Silhouette/Harlequin swill. But what makes me lose it is the ending.

Sebastian acts like a jerk all the way to the end. Okay. I'm even okay with the dumb pop-psychology nonsense. But I'm not okay with Sebastian's speech at the end, which is something in the effect of "Look, I'm an ass, but you are not blameless too, because you have a hand in me being an ass by... oh WTF, you love me, so let's suck face!"

Yes I lost it then. I screamed, I tossed this book onto the floor and ground my heel into the book. Yes, I'm five years old but damn, that felt good, my heel on this book. And my middle finger salute that follows was just the thing to make my day.

I tried kicking this book into the UBS bag, but I missed. I was lousy at soccer anyway, so instead I just flung this book hard into it. Boy, I tell you, I felt like dancing on air for the rest of the day. Nothing like a book filled with insulting and shallow pop pap getting the finger and the heel to brighten up my day.

Rating: 44

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